a chill February found me exploring a lonely trail in search of flowers and their attendant butterflies… Possibly a bear if I could see one. It was after all why I had picked an early morning and this particular trail that skirted a vast South West Florida marsh As I rounded an area looking down as I hiked I came across a small grouping, just a very few plants, of Nodding Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes odorata) Orchids. I had never seen these in my travels so it was pretty exciting! Nodding Ladies Tresses grow low and are rather small and they tend to blend in with the rest of, well, everything in the grasses. The blooms only last about a week or two so I was very lucky to come across them. Nodding Ladies Tresses are a ground orchid with just a few leaves and this wonderful flower spike that comes up about a foot. My book on Wild Orchids of Florida says that these are seen from South Dakota, east to Nova Scotia, south to Texas and in Florida. If you are lucky to see them in your area, take only photos and leave nothing behind but footprints… Orchids are protected in many States.
If one picture is worth a 1,000 words. This must be at minimum 2,000 words.
I was sitting, reclining actually all bundled up and gloved for Winter on a swamp buggy at CREW Bird Rookery Swamp I was looking all around us, as well as overhead at the Cypress trees, the alligator flags and into that icy blue sky scanning for photo targets; gators, butterflies.. small things when out of somewhere he flew up and over us. What a magical moment of surprise….. Look how the sunlight streams through his feathers….. Looking at the photos and re-visiting the moment I can feel him flying even now…
Image of a Great blue Heron Color Morph – White.